Do you know what MPG your car is doing? Ways of keeping track.

I wrote the piece below back in 2013 when I was trying to get an idea what the true MPG figure was that I was getting from normal everyday driving.

I have to admit I found having to enter diesel purchases and odometer readings on a web site a pain and did not carry on for too long.

Recently I have discovered the Android phone app Fuelio which lets you monitor fuel usage on your mobile phone. I am giving a go, so far so good.

One of the factors I take into consideration when changing car is the manufacturers claimed fuel consumption figures. With petrol and diesel prices as high as they are these days I can't afford to be complacent.

These official mpg figures are supposed to be based on standard tests so that we can make fair comparisons between different makes and models, how does a Volkswagen Golf diesel compare with a similar VW with a petrol engine, or for that matter a Vauxhall Astra or Toyota Yaris.

However we all drive differently. Some of us mainly drive around country lanes, or around town, or up and down the motorway. Some are more heavy footed than others. Rarely do any of us consistently achieve the miles per gallon we came to expect from the figures the car maker quoted.

So do you know how far your vehicle actually travels on each gallon of petrol or diesel you put into it? Most of us don't. In the past I have kept paper records and gone to the trouble of using a calculator to convert litres to gallons and actually work out what mpg I was getting, but it soon became boring.

Recently I have found a couple of websites that do the calculations for you. You just have to enter how many litres you buy and the mileage on your odometer, if you enter the price per litre they even tell you how much you are spending on fuel per mile.

To get accurate results you have to fill your tank right up but you can record partial fill ups and then when you do get around to filling right up it will give you a precise mpg result. Ideal if you wait until you see a forecourt with a discounted price before you do a complete fill up.

Whether it is more efficient to fill you tank completely is open to debate. Over on the Money Saving Expert web site they recommend topping up more often rather than filling right up. Personally I use PetrolPrices.com to see where the best prices are and fill up completely when I get a good price and just top up when needed otherwise.

Anyway getting back to the mpg calculating web sites the two I have used are Fuelly and Spritmonitor. Fuelly is prettier.

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